23rd August 1915

Corporal Norman Samuel Hurrell, serving with “C” Company, Warwickshire Yeomanry, died of wounds at sea on 23rd August 1915. The Warwickshire Yeomanry had landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli, on 18th August 1915 and took part in the attack on Chocolate Hill, and Hill 112, on 21st August, so it seems likely that Corporal Hurrell was injured in this attack and was on board a hospital ship when he died of wounds he had received.

It seems that Norman Hurrell’s family moved to Solihull sometime between 1911 and 1920. He was born in Birmingham in 1890 and his birth was registered under the names Samuel Norman, which is also how he appears on the 1891 census. He was living at 5 St Paul’s Avenue, Balsall Heath in 1891, with his parents Samuel Edward (a provision shop manager, born in Pembroke Dock, Pembrokeshire) and Sarah Maria (born in Aldershot, Hampshire). An older sister, Mabel, was born in Birmingham in 1888. Samuel Edward had moved to the Midlands from Wales by 1881 when, aged 17, he was working as a porter at a grocer’s shop in High Street, Halesowen. His father, Samuel Roach Hurrell, worked as a coast guard in Wales.

By 1901, Samuel Edward Hurrell and his family had moved to 37 Murdoch Road, Handsworth, which a 1901 rate book from the Library of Birmingham (on the Ancestry website, available free of charge from library computers in Solihull) shows was owned by Fred Middleton. By this time, Samuel’s son was being recorded as Norman. Presumably, the transposition of the names suggests that although he was registered as Samuel, he was known by his middle name of Norman. By 1901, Norman had three younger sisters – Madge, Frances and Constance.

By 1911, the family had moved to 100, High Street, Birmingham and 20-year-old Norman was a grocer’s assistant, helping with the family business.

It’s not known when the family moved to Solihull but Norman’s name is included on the Solihull war memorial, erected in 1921, and the Commonwealth War Graves website lists his parents as living at Leigh Court, Solihull. Samuel Edward had moved to 587 Warwick Road, Solihull. His death, aged 89, is registered in Solihull in 1952, by which time he was living at 70 Dovehouse Lane. His wife, Sarah Maria, died in Solihull in 1947, aged 84.

The couple had had five children, but Norman was their only son.

Samuel Edward Hurrell was the chairman and founder of Hurrell’s Stores, provision merchants and grocer’s, which opened in Solihull in 1924. The firm continued after the founder’s death and, in 1962, was advertising its premises at 66 Poplar Road as “the oldest established grocery business and the only remaining private grocer in Solihull.”

Heritage & Local Studies Librarian

tel.: 0121 704 6977
email: heritage@solihull.gov.uk

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